World Rugby chief’s ringtone raises eyebrows after England’s sickening World Cup defeat

England came within minutes of reaching the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday night

On Saturday night, England was eliminated from the Rugby World Cup after failing to hold onto a nine-point advantage over South Africa in the semifinals. Despite playing poorly for the majority of the game, the Springboks eventually defeated the side from the Northern Hemisphere with the help of a late converted try and penalty. Sir Bill Beaumont, the chairman of World Rugby, raised eyebrows on a train before to the game every time his phone rang since it was set to The Great Escape soundtrack.


Former England and British & Irish Lions footballer Beaumont rode the standard class train from Marseille to Paris to see the semifinal match at the Stade de France, according to the Daily Mail. He also delightedly took selfies while there.

Beaumont’s position with World Rugby requires him to maintain objectivity, yet his ringtone selection undoubtedly attracted some attention.

The Great Escape, an epic 1963 American military film starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough, features the well-known theme, which was written by Elmer Bernstein. Brass bands frequently play the theme during sporting events in support of England teams.

Despite being the underdogs, England dominated much of their match with South Africa and took the lead when Owen Farrell successfully converted two early penalties. South African fly-half Midway through the first half, Manie Libbok scored for his team, but with 10 minutes left in the opening half, he was humiliated by being substituted out for Handre Pollard.

Before Libbok was hooked, Farrell scored a third penalty, and after Pollard had started the night’s scoring, the Saracens No. 10 added a fourth.

The Northern Hemisphere squad would have been under strong instructions to keep onto their lead after the break, with Steve Borthwick’s men leading 12-6 at the half. And there were sincere expectations that England would go on to cause a major shock and get to the championship match when Farrell put over a drop goal 13 minutes into the second half.

However, 11 minutes from the end, RG Snyman scored South Africa’s lone try of the game by crossing the whitewash, and Pollard added the conversion.

Late in the game, England had chances to increase their lead after gaining territory deep within South Africa’s half. However, Pollard stepped up to kick a penalty from just inside the England half to secure a 16-15 victory for the Springboks after Ellis Genge gave up a penalty at the scrum shortly before the finish.

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